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 SHAUN ADAMS, Certified Sommelier
February 2015 Issue / Vol. 3, No. 3
                           Everyday I'm surprised on something about wine.

Executive Chef
Ken Harvey
Chef de Cuisine 
Alexis Martinez

February 2015
Chef's Larder

Kids in the Kitchen
Junior Leagues International

See what wines Shaun Adams matched with several Names on FOODIES WEST's Facebook page.

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The rest of your body
on Rosemary

The Flying V Bar & Grill

The Yunnan Cookbook
by Annabel Jackson
& Chef Linda Chia

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Synopsis: Shaun Adams, Certified Sommelier, Four Seasons Scottsdale at Troon North, Scottsdale, Arizona

W. Clement Stone said, You are a product of your environment. So choose the environment that will best develop you toward your objective. But sometimes the lines blur between the product and the environment. It did in Shaun Adams’ case. Adams grew up in Fairfield, California, just outside of Napa Valley (and home of Jelly Belly). He decided on a career as a culinarian (rather then become a Jelly Belly Beanologist), and moved to Phoenix in 2000 to attend culinary school in Scottsdale. He got a job at the Phoenician Resort, and the environment changed his objective. “I realized that I loved to cook,” Adams explained, “but I didn’t know that I’d want to be back in the kitchen all day, every day.” At the time, he worked in room service, and loved the interaction with guests. So he switched his objectives to the front of the house. He became a server assistant at the Windows on the Green, the Phoenician’s former five-night Southwestern restaurant. “I was there for seven years,” Adams said, “and worked my way up to dining room captain. I eventually oversaw all of the private functions, scheduling, everything.” Over time, the environment, again, started to change his objectives. “There were a couple master sommeliers at Mary Elaine’s,” Adams said, “and I started really picking their brains. Wine just intrigued me. It was an easy transition from food to wine just based on flavor profiles, complexity, building flavors. It just naturally progressed from there.” He and his objective became one in 2002, when he and several staff, including the Phoenician’s former cellar master, Sean Marron, did a tasting with guests who were planning a wine tasting event for 60. As the group tasted through different wines and the foods planned for the event, Marron talked about the wines and how they worked with the food. “It was really cool to see the minute detail that goes into really making that work for you,” Adams said. “That’s what made me realize that there’s so much to learn, and there’s so much you can continue to learn in that field. It was like, This is definitely where I want to be.” About six years from the time he started at the Phoenician, Adams received his introductory sommelier certificate through the Court of Master Sommeliers and became certified a few months later. Two years later he started working at the Four Seasons. He worked with the opening managers when Talavera opened and helped with the wine tastings. When the manager that oversaw the wine list got promoted and moved to Baltimore, Adams stepped in to take over the wine. Over the years, Adams has continued to collect certificates—Certified Specialist of Wine in 2010 and Certified Specialist of Sprits in 2013 through the Society of Wine Educators. He’s currently studying for his Advanced Sommelier certificate.